Tencent Music and Warner Music Will Launch a Record Label in China

Ethan Millman
·2 min read

Tencent Music Entertainment (TME), the largest music company in China, will launch a new joint-venture record label with Warner Music Group (WME) the two labels announced Monday afternoon.

Along with the formation of the new label, TME and WMG said they have secured a new licensing deal to keep WMG’s extensive catalog on TME’s online music platforms. This isn’t TME’s first joint label partnership with a major music company: It secured a similar deal with Universal Music Group last year as well when WME and UMG secured their new licensing deal.

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“Our collaboration with TME has already delivered tremendous results for local and international artists, and now we’re opening up even more opportunities together,” Simon Robson, president of international at WMG said in a statement. “Alongside our increased investment in artist & repertoire and marketing in Greater China, this renewed and expanded partnership means we can help make our artists impossible to ignore in one of the world’s fastest-expanding music markets.”

TME has proven an increasingly powerful company in the global music industry. TME’s parent company Tencent Holdings led a consortium last year to increase its stake in Universal Music Group (UMG) to 20%, valuing the latter at $36 billion. UMG, backed by its Tencent investment, is currently gearing up for a public debut. WMG, meanwhile, became a public company again last year, returning to the stock market after spending the previous eight years as a private company following its sale to billionaire Len Blavatnik.

“TME and Warner Music have maintained a strong strategic partnership with deep mutual trust for a long time,” Cussion Pang, TME’s CEO, said in a statement Monday. “We have shared the same passion and vision by closely collaborating on copyright protection, and empowering and protecting artists and their work, while unlocking the intrinsic value of music. This cooperation will be a new industry benchmark for diversified development and value creation in China’s music industry.”

Partnerships between the majors and other international music companies have boomed recently, as global genres have grown in popularity. Earlier this year, UMG and Big Hit Entertainment, BTS’s label, announced they’d founded a joint label — and would scout and launch a new k-pop boy band together.

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